Two dates now available for Merseyside derby to be rescheduled after Liverpool’s FA Cup exit

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Liverpool were always due to have an away match against one of their biggest rivals on the third weekend of March, although it wasn’t the one which was originally intended.

The Reds bowed out of the FA Cup on Sunday after losing to Manchester United in extra time, and that fixture prompted the postponement of the second Merseyside derby of the season, which had initially been scheduled for the weekend just gone.

As per Liverpool Echo, there are now two dates available on the calendar for our visit to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League – Wednesday 24 April and Wednesday 15 May – with the latter falling just four days prior to the final matchday of the top-flight season.

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Despite the galling nature of the defeat at Old Trafford yesterday, it has ensured that Liverpool will have at least one midweek off between now and the end of the campaign.

Had the Reds beaten United and progressed to the Europa League final, they would’ve had two matches per week right up to 22 May (25 May had they reached the FA Cup showpiece), a gruelling schedule which would’ve put an already injury-hit squad under enormous pressure.

With the away fixture against Fulham now certain to place on the weekend of the FA Cup semi-finals (20/21 April), we have just the Merseyside derby to be rescheduled.

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Should Liverpool be eliminated by Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals, two further midweek slots would theoretically open up, although UEFA’s preference is for domestic top-flight fixtures to only clash with their own competitions if no alternative is available.

In any event, we’d rather see the Everton game played at the earliest possible date, so that we can hopefully get the points on the board and lay down a marker to Arsenal and Manchester City in the title race, especially with the latter now having two league games to reschedule as they’re still in the FA Cup.

Ideally we’ll have confirmation of the new Merseyside derby date sooner rather than later, and the events of the past few days offer much greater clarity as to when it can be played.

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